Science Under Attack

Global warming. Climate change. Renewable energy. Carbon-free societies. All of these terms have gained currency in a global push to eliminate fossil fuels, which are  supposedly causing anthropogenic, global warming. The underlying assumption is that man’s role in climate change is a matter of settled science, beyond question. In fact, there are a great many questions.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the United States National Climatic Data Center (NCDC):

“The SUN heats the earth’s oceans and land, then, secondarily, the earth’s oceans and land heat the atmosphere. The atmosphere is not heating the earth it’s the sun. Consequently, after the above two, increasing air temperature then increases sea surface temperature.”

In fact, science tells us the one constant on earth is that the climate is always changing. Science also tells us that CO2 is statistically irrelevant as a factor in determining the earth’s climate. Therefore, CO2 is a minor factor in weather determination. Its concentration in the atmosphere does not automatically drive warming or cooling.

Yet apparently questions cannot be asked. Whether or not there is, or isn’t climate change, global warming, and who is, or isn’t to blame, all of these issues must be ignored. According to noted climatologist Dr. Judith Curry:

“Climatology has become a political party with totalitarian tendencies. If you don’t support the United Nations (UN) consensus on human-caused global warming, if you express the slightest skepticism, you are a ‘climate-change denier,’ who must be banned from the scientific community.”

Scientific research according to Karl Popper “should be based on skepticism, on the constant reconsideration of accepted ideas.” When it comes to energy and climate we should be considering what promotes human longevity and flourishing. What makes energy and electricity affordable, scalable, abundant, reliable, and flexible? Now the global warming, climate change debate is only about made-for-profit power.

Renewables are sure-fire, taxpayer-funded, profit centers when:

“In 2016, renewables received 94 times more in U.S. federal subsidies than nuclear and 46 times more than fossil fuels per unit of energy generated.”

Weather and climate may be under attack, but so is the science of energy. From believing a “Green New Deal” will work for labor to thinking all energy issues are solved by electricity. Electricity is a static proposition that needs oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear or some form of solar panels, wind turbines or damned water in order to be produced. It is not a form of energy. It is a form of transmission.

But nothing energizes environmentalists and citizens like renewable energy. It is touted as a panacea. Its actual track record is ignored. Science, common sense and engineering data inform us that every single place renewables have been implemented they have been a disaster.

In Germany, Denmark, Spain, Britain, South Australia, Vermont, Minnesota, New Mexico (in the beginning stages of maligning fossil fuels), Arkansas, California, Austin, Texas, and Georgetown, Texas, solar and wind farms have been valiantly attempted, and failed every single time. Renewables will never work under current technological and scientific constraints.

The science behind renewable energy also makes electricity more expensive. As an example:

“Solar panels with storage deliver just 1.6 times as much energy as is invested as compared to the 75 times more energy delivered with nuclear.”

There is no battery revolution for energy storage systems and renewables under current technological constraints. In fact, economics show that renewables will always constrain electricity, causing price hikes and degrading infrastructure improvements. Only fossil fuels, at this time, have the science, engineering, technology, and economics that make sense for human flourishing and longevity.

Over six thousand products come from a barrel of crude oil. Meaning, the conversation should stop being about de-carbonizing, searching for clean energy, and eliminating oil from our daily lives. There is a corollary relationship between energy and environmentalism. Clean environments only happen, “as people consume higher levels of energy the overall environmental impact is overwhelmingly positive, not negative.”

Fossil fuels have been used safely for centuries and billions have left poverty. Oil, natural gas, and coal reduce the amount of land needed for energy, compared to solar and wind farms. If the earth is warming:

“Then aerial fertilization by CO2 has increased food supplies by 25%, weather is less extreme in a warming world, and historically conflicts increase during periods of cooling, and decrease during warmer periods.”

Science, based on facts, drive markets. It also drives geopolitics. The science and use of natural gas makes its conversion to liquid natural gas (LNG) more important to energy, geopolitics and diplomacy than anything outside of strong militaries. Natural gas is the soft power, weapon-of-choice for nation states.

Natural gas spending will jump five-fold in 2019, according to Wood Mackenzie. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says: “Natural gas demand to rise 10 percent over the next 5 years, and roughly 40 percent of that will come from China.”

The Trump administration is pushing for Eastern Mediterranean natural gas, and “sees the promotion of natural gas production and related infrastructure in the region as a key effort in tying countries together and promoting peace.” This continues “an Obama-era foreign policy objective.”

French, energy firm, Total, is partnering with Russia on a LNG project in the Arctic to protect French energy needs. Even smaller, geopolitical players like Mexico, are seeking ways to boost natural gas production 50 percent through government-owned, Petroleum Mexicanos (PEMEX).

Fossil fuels – particularly natural gas – will be the leader for decades ahead when it comes to soft power, national security and robust economic growth for mature and emerging markets. Michael Bloomberg’s investment of $500 million in efforts to kill coal use in the U.S., and slow natural gas’ growth may devastate the country and western allies geopolitically. It will make no true global impact. China, Russia, India, Africa, Iran, and North Korea will never let a white male, billionaire stop their economies or geopolitical power. Yes, science from politics, and competing energy interests is under attack from within, and geopolitically.